How to Clean Gutters | 6 Easy Steps to Simplify the Process

How to clean guters by Woodard Cleaning & Restoration in St. Louis, Mo.

It’s no secret that homeowners hate cleaning their gutters. Perhaps this is why most  water damage is caused by clogged gutters and downspouts? Since gutter systems can accumulate nearly 300 pounds of debris every year, regular cleaning and proper maintenance is a must. While you can’t put off cleaning your gutters altogether, we can show you a few ways how to clean gutters without giving yourself a headache.

Clean at the Right Time

Strategically speaking, it’s best to clean your gutters in the late Spring. Waiting until the later Spring months is ideal because you’ll have a prime opportunity to remove all of the built-up pollen and seeds that fell during heavy-blooming, as well as any lingering winter debris.

Sport Gloves & Long Sleeves

Even if the thermometer is sitting at 100 degrees, you’ll still want to protect your hands and arms with heavy-duty gloves and long sleeves. Why? Well, despite weather conditions, the contents of gutters are almost always wet and cold. Plus, gutters serve as great catching mechanisms for items you’d, most likely, rather not touch, such as dead birds and sharp twigs.  While a pair of gardening gloves along with a ratty long-sleeved t-shirt may not make an impressive fashion statement, it just so happens to be the best attire for gutter cleaning.

Start Scooping

With the help of your kid’s plastic sand scooper or shovel, you’ll greatly speed up the cleaning process, and keep your hands squeaky clean. Imagine the luxury of never having to use your hands to fish out that built-up gunk and grime. Ahh, now that’s how you simplify gutter cleaning!

Lay a Plastic Tarp Down

Having to clean out downspouts and gutters is hassle enough, so why make the job harder? By covering your yard with a plastic tarp, you won’t have to worry about cleaning up your lawn after cleaning your gutters! In fact, you can let gunky debris fall freely; just remember to clean off the tarp afterwards!

Use a Ladder Horn

Unless you reside in a ranch-style home, you’ll need a ladder to clean your gutters. To enhance safety and security, invest in a ladder stabilizer, also known as a ladder horn. These nifty little devices work wonders for securing your ladder and preventing unnecessary damage to gutters.

Rent a Pressure Washer

If it has been a while since you last cleaned your gutters, you may want to consider renting a pressure washer. Why? Well, gunk and debris that has accumulated over a long period of time is much to strong for the average garden hose to tackle. However, pressure washers are highly-powerful, and have the ability to blast through whatever your gutters are holding. While the cost to rent a pressure washer varies, the average rental fee is around $50. To rent a pressure washer, stop by your local hardware store; they’ll help you out!

If you’ve never used a pressure washer to clean your gutters, here are a few basic operation tips:

  • Always stand on the ground when using a pressure washer – Pressure washers should never be used whilst standing on a ladder or step-stool.
  • Aim carefully – When using a pressure washer to clean your gutters, you’ll need to aim at your gutters, but be careful not to blow any shingles off your roof!
  • Adjust power and speed settings – If you find that the gunk from your gutters is breaking free quite easily, consider lowering the power and speed settings on your pressure washer. Using an unnecessarily high speed or power setting could cause damage to your roof and siding.